Nigeria’s outgoing Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has explained that the Nigeria Air project was suspended because members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) were divided on the modalities for its establishment.
According to Amaechi, some FEC members believe that the Federal Government should invest in the project and then sell the equity later, just as there are those who believe that the Federal Government should get investors in and give them the franchise of Nigeria Air.
The Minister, who recently addressed journalists in Abuja during his valedictory press briefing, also used the occasion to stress that the national carrier project has not been abandoned.
“On national carrier, (the) cabinet is divided on the issue of modality. There are those who believe that the Federal Government should invest and then we can sell the equity later.
“There are also those who believe that no, and from day one they say let us get investors in and give them the franchise of Nigeria Airways or Air Nigeria or whatever it is called. That is where we are and that is what held it down. But as for whether it is still in our plan, it is and has not been abandoned.”
The Backstory: Recall that in July 2018, the Nigerian Government unveiled the much-awaited new national carrier during the Farnborough Air Show in London.
But barely two months afterwards, September 19th to be precise, the Minister of State for Aviation announced via Twitter that the Government had regretfully suspended the planned takeoff of the state-owned airline company.
As expected, this elicited lots of reactions from Nigerians many of whom were disappointed that the Government could not even get around owning a national carrier.
In the meantime, countries like Ethiopia, Egypt, and Kenya have continued to set the pace in the African aviation sector.
NNPC to provide free conversion services to motorists to switch from PMS to autogas
The NNPC has revealed plans to help motorists switch from Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) to Autogas.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has disclosed that it is going to provide free conversion services in some selected NNPC retail filling station in the country.
This is part of the effort of the corporation aimed at assisting interested motorists to switch from Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly known as petrol to Autogas as the Federal Government rolls out an autogas programme called the National Gas Expansion Programme.
This was disclosed by the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari, on Tuesday, December 1, 2020, while delivering his address at the Presidential Virtual Rollout of the National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP).
While delivering his address, Kyari pointed out that the areas of focus with existing Autogas service stations include the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, Kaduna, Kano, Kogi, Kwara, Ogun, Ondo, Oyo, Lagos, Edo, Delta, Rivers and Bayelsa States.
The statement from Kyari partly reads, ‘’To support this effort, NNPC is providing free conversion services in some selected NNPC retail filling stations to assist interested motorists switch from PMS to Autogas, especially in areas with existing Autogas service stations in the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, Kaduna, Kano, Kogi, Kwara, Ogun, Ondo, Oyo, Lagos, Edo, Delta, Rivers and Bayelsa States.’’
The NNPC boss revealed that the state-owned oil corporation is expanding this initiative to all NNPC retail filling stations across the country, while also assuring motorists of steady availability of Autogas at competitive prices.
He also said that NNPC is expanding its natural gas footprint across the country in order to support industrialization and job creation through its various ongoing gas infrastructure projects which includes Obiafu-Obrikom-Oben (OB3) gas pipeline project connecting East and West.
Others are Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS 11 which is expected to boost supply to the western corridor and the AKK gas pipeline that will supply gas to Abuja, Kaduna and Kano states.
What you should know
- President Muhammadu Buhari today performed the virtual rollout of autogas programme called the National Gas Expansion Programme. The programme, which involves the conversion of fuel-powered cars, generators from petrol to gas, is aimed at deepening domestic usage of natural gas in its various forms.
- The programme is also in line with the Federal Government’s plan to make gas the first choice source of cheaper and cleaner energy. This follows the deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry with sharp increases in prices of petrol.
GMD @NNPCgroup: "To support this effort, NNPC is providing free conversion services in some selected NNPC Retail Filling Stations to assist interested motorists switch from PMS to Autogas…#NGEP #NigeriaGoGas #YearOfGas
— NNPC Group (@NNPCgroup) December 1, 2020
Senate confirms 6 NERC commissioners, drops Chairman-nominee
Six nominees for the board of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) have been confirmed as commissioners.
The Nigerian Senate has confirmed the nomination of six members for the board of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) as commissioners.
The legislators also dropped, Prof. Akintunde Akinwande, the nominee for the Chairman position due to his absence from the screening.
This was disclosed by the senate committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy on Tuesday.
The confirmed nominees are Sanusi Garba (North-West) as vice-chairman; with Nathan Rogers Shatti (North-East), Moses Arigu (North-Central), Dafe Akpedeye (South-South), Frank Okafor (South-East) and Musiliu Oseni (South-West).
The committee recommended that President Muhammadu Buhari present another nominee to replace Akinwande.
What you should know
President Buhari had asked the Senate to confirm Sanusi Garba as Executive Chairman of the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission.
He also sought the Senate nod for the confirmation of Dr Musiliu Oseni as vice chairman; and Aisha Mahmud as commissioner.
The request was contained in a letter dated 15th October, 2020, and read on the floor during plenary by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan.
COVID-19: NCDC issues travel advisory for the yuletide season
The NCDC has issued a public health advisory to the general public as they prepare for the festive season.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has issued a public health advisory to all members of the public to exercise caution as they celebrate the upcoming festivities – Christmas and New year.
The Commission said that it is fully aware that the yuletide season affords a number of people an opportunity to celebrate with their families and friends and as well for people to travel to visit their loved ones or attend events, but cautioned that everyone has to make necessary adjustments in social interactions in line with the reality of the pandemic to limit the spread of Covid-19.
According to the commission, “Since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Nigeria, just over 67,000 Covid-19 cases have been reported with just over 1,000 deaths. Most of the confirmed cases and deaths have been in urban/semi-urban cities and towns and the risk of spread remains.
“The Covid-19 virus does not spread on its own, it spreads when people move around. This means that by traveling across countries and cities, there is a higher risk of transmission, especially to rural areas where the existing health infrastructure is already weak.”
Key highlights of the advisory
- Limit all non-essential domestic and international travels.
- As an alternative to traveling, you could still remain socially connected with friends and loved ones using mobile or video conferencing technology.
- Hold virtual services and prayer sessions to limit the mass congregation.
- Observe appropriate social distancing protocols and personal hygiene in all public places and events, washing of hands frequently with soap and water or using a hand sanitizer when hands are not visibly dirty and running water is not readily available.
Why this matters
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has continued to rise across several countries globally. Nigeria is not an exception, with the recent spike recorded in the number of confirmed cases in some major cities.
In the first wave of infections, the economy was paralyzed with lockdowns that lasted for months, and the country cannot afford a second wave which could be more catastrophic.